Publish date25 Nov 2020 - 15:28
Story Code : 483372

Azerbaijan enters Kalbajar region evacuated by Armenia under truce

Azerbaijan's army forces have taken over Kalbajar handed down by Armenian army under the Russian-brokered ceasefire to end weeks of Nagarno-Karabakh war.
Azerbaijan enters Kalbajar region evacuated by Armenia under truce
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that army units had entered the Kalbajar District.

“Engineering work has been completed to ensure the movement of our units in this direction; the difficult mountain roads along the route of the troops’ movement are being cleared of mines and prepared for use,” it added.

The deployment came after an additional ten-day deadline came to an end for Armenia to pull out its forces and civilians from the region, according to Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been held by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992, when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

This year’s fighting, the worst in decades, started in late September and came to an end earlier this month after Moscow brokered the ceasefire, which leaves Baku largely in control of the territory.

Under the truce deal, Russia and Turkey, which is an ally of Azerbaijan, agreed to establish a joint center in Karabakh and deploy peacekeeping forces to monitor the ceasefire in the mountainous region.

Russia will be sending 1,960 peacekeepers as well as armored personnel carriers and other military equipment to monitor the truce deal. The Russian deployment has already started.

Ankara also said earlier this week that preparations for its troops to be dispatched to Azerbaijan had been completed.

The center, according to the agreement, is located on Azerbaijani territory.

The leaders of Russia and Turkey discussed the peacekeeping effort in a phone conversation on Tuesday, according to the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “stressed the importance of all-round implementation of agreements geared to ensure stability and normalize life in the region,” the Kremlin said.


Erdogan “expressed hope that a joint center… will start operations within the shortest possible timeframe… [to] ensure stability in the region on a permanent basis,” his office said in a statement.

The Turkish president said that, “the Armenian side should not be allowed to make the lasting solution difficult and avoid its responsibilities under the [ceasefire] deal.”

Erdogan also reiterated Azerbaijan’s call for the return of all of its territory.

Leaders of the self-declared republic of Nagorno-Karabakh continue to demand independence, though. Upon leaving occupied territories over the past weeks, ethnic Armenians set their houses on fire, cut down trees and took everything away in order not to leave them for Azerbaijan to take over.
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